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Impact of Animal Metabolism in Disease and Production

Impacts of Animal Metabolism in Disease and Production
Department of Veterinary Preclinical Sciences

Programme Leader

  1. Associate Professor Dr Goh Yong Meng - Nutrition Physiology 



2. Professor Dato' Dr Tengku Azmi Tengku Ibrahim - Anatomy
3. Professor Dr Mohamed Ariff Omar - Genetics 
4. Associate Professor Dr Arifah Abdul Kadir  Pharmacology 
5. Associate Professor Dr Mohd Hezmee Mohd Noor -  Pharmacology 
6. Dr Intan Shameha Abdul Razak - Histology 


The animal industry in Malaysia contributed about 7 % of the national Gross Domestic Product in 2010, or equivalent to 7.6 Billion ringgit. It is not only crucial for food security, but also contributed a whole range of high quality and high value raw materials for biotechnology, medical, cosmetics and other industrial applications. To address the demand and diversity of the animal industry sector, our research focus is two-fold.

Firstly, to look for ways to address animal production issues by understanding the biochemical basis of metabolism, such as deciphering how specific high value fatty acids and amino acids are accumulated in animals tissues, and how these elements could potentially result in metabolic diseases in animals. This opportunity in turn enabled us to dwell into our second focus.

Where we studied specific biochemical and biological processes using metabolomic, and other tools to decipher cellular functions responsible in gene expression and regulation, cellular signaling and responses, specific receptor functions that are responsible for poor growth, poor quality meat and tissues, poor utilization of feedstuffs, insulin resistance and diabetes, cognitive deficits, animal genetic diseases.

Being based in the Veterinary Faculty enabled us to straddle across disciplines, allowing the findings to be quickly translated into applications in animal science, or served as a starting point for research into important debilitating diseases in human beings through our animal model studies, such as diabetes, age-related cognition disorders and even cancer.

Keywords     :  Animal metabolism, metabolomics, nutrigenomics

Research Highlights

We are researching crucial technologies aimed for the improvement of the yield and quality of the animal industry, by understanding how existing animal, feed and environmental resources can be optimized. For example, research into rumen methanogenesis mechanism that not only helped to reduce greenhouse gases, but also to improve growth yield in cattle, as well as increasing the use of oil palm fronds as a way to address the massive biomass residue from the highly developed palm oil industry. Our research into fat deposition dynamics in chicken enabled us to produce leaner animals, at the same time, understanding adipogenesis mechanism that would also help to address human obesity issues

Members of the research group are also involved in scientific research and advisory roles to local and external organizations (CSIRO Australia, Meat & Livestock Industries Australia & Food Australia), such as collaborative on pain perception, animal welfare and meat quality utilizing the ONLY animal electroencephalographic (EEG) equipment in the country at the department.

We are looking forward to our new animal facilities to conduct even more high impact work on ruminant, poultry and even swine research in the coming future. Currently we have imaging equipments, gas chromatographic analytical systems, access to nutrigenomics and other molecular techniques and facilities that will enable us to make a difference in this area.

With more than 60 ISI articles and a cumulative impact factor of more than 92, and having completed an European Union funded grant in Malaysia (2007-2011), this research programme certainly made an impact not only in the national scene, but in the regional and international scene as well.

Current Project 

  1. The roles of conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) and peroxisome proliferator activated receptors (PPAR) in the regulation of adipogenesis in chickens. 2011-2013. MOHE (FRGS) / MYR 103,000.00.
  2. In utero fat nutrition and its effects on maker protein expression and cognitive function development in rats. 2009-2011. (RUGS)/UPM. MYR 97,950.
  3. The use of oil palm fronds to reduce rumen methanogenesis in cattle. 2012-2014. MOSTI (e-Sciencefund)/ MYR 190,900.00.
  4. Completed International Grants - The Conversion of Local Feeds into Human Food by the Ruminant. 2007-2011. European Union Asialink Project. About 17 % of the total of EUR 599,424.00.

Key Publications (From a total of 60 ISI publications in 2011 and 2012 only)

1. Hajjar, T. and Meng, G.Y. and Rajion, M.A. and Vidyadaran, S. and Othman, F. and Farjam, A.S. and Li, T.A. and Ebrahimi, M., (2012). "Omega 3 polyunsaturated fatty acid improves spatial learning and hippocampal Peroxisome Proliferator Activated Receptors (PPARα and PPARγ) gene expression in rats", BMC Neuroscience, vol. 13, no. 1.

2. Maroufyan, E. and Kasim, A. and Ebrahimi, M. and Loh, T.C. and Bejo, M.H. and Zerihun, H. and Hosseni, F. and Goh, Y.M. and Farjam, A.S., (2012). "Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids enrichment alters performance and immune response in infectious bursal disease challenged broilers", Lipids in Health and Disease, vol. 11

3. Motshakeri, M, Ebrahimi, M, Goh, Y, Matanjun, P & Mohamed, S, 2012, 'Sargassum polycystumreduces hyperglycaemia, dyslipidaemia and oxidative stress via increasing insulin sensitivity in a rat model of type 2 diabetes', Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture, vol. 63, pp. 221.

4. Hassim, H.A. and Loureno, M. and Goh, Y.M. and Baars, J.J.P. and Fievez, V., (2012). "Rumen degradation of oil palm fronds is improved through pre-digestion with white rot fungi but not through supplementation with yeast or enzymes", Canadian Journal of Animal Science, vol. 92, no. 1, pp. 79-87

5. Faseleh Jahromi, M, Liang, J, Ho, Y, Mohamad, R, Goh, Y & Shokryazdan, P, 2012, 'Lovastatin Production by Aspergillus terreus Using Agro-Biomass as Substrate in Solid State Fermentation', Journal of Biomedicine and Biotechnology, vol. 3, no. 4, pp. 96-11.

Updated:: 24/05/2017 [mjamil]


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